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Anxiety Disorders

5 Types of Anxiety Explained

An umbrella term often used to describe disorders that share features of excessive fear, anxiety, and related behavioural challenges. Fear is the emotional response to real or perceived danger. Anxiety is the anticipation of a future threat. Anxiety disorders differ from one another in the types of objects or situations that induce fear, anxiety, or avoidance behaviour, and cognitive ideation. Many of the anxiety disorders develop in childhood and tend to persist if not treated. The following disorders are treatable with the appropriate therapy treatment discussed in collaboration with a therapist. Your therapist can also incorporate mindfulness, guided meditation, grounding techniques, yoga, journaling, breath work, physical exercise, and worksheets.

Stressed Woman

Separation Anxiety

Developmentally inappropriate and excessive fear or anxiety concerning

separation from those to whom the individual is attached.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Excessive anxiety and worry about a number of events or activities. The intensity, duration, or frequency of the anxiety and worry is out of proportion to the actual likelihood or impact of the anticipated event. The individual finds it difficult to control the worry and to keep worrisome thoughts from interfering with attention to tasks at hand.

Social Anxiety

Intense fear or anxiety of social situations in which the individual may be scrutinized by others. The individual is concerned that they will be judged as anxious, weak, crazy, stupid, boring, intimidating, dirty, or unlikable. In addition, they fear that they will appear in a certain way or show anxiety symptoms, such as blushing, sweating, and stumbling over one’s words.

Panic Disorder

Recurrent and unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is an abrupt surge of intense fear or intense discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes. The frequency and severity of panic attacks vary widely. In terms of frequency, there may be moderately frequent attacks (one per week) for months at a time, or short bursts of more frequent attacks (daily) separated by two weeks, or months without any attacks or less frequent attacks (two per month) over many years.


Intense fear or anxiety triggered by the real or anticipated exposure to a wide range of situations. The individual fears or avoids situations because of thoughts that escape might be difficult or help might not be available in the event of developing panic-like symptoms or other incapacitating or embarrassing symptoms.

All of the above information was sourced from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition

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